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Submitted by Raul Roman on
Hello Mike Thanks for this valuable post. I wanted to add a comment to this discussion. 1. I personally think there is too much emphasis on impact evaluation in the field of ICT and Education, including OLPC projects. The reasons for such emphasis are perfectly understandable (and common across the whole range of international development practice areas). Impact evaluation of OLPC initiatives using quasi-experimental designs is certainly possible -- although it is also important to clarify the technical, logistical and resource-related challenges and limitations of such research endeavors, particularly in the field of education (something that I would love to discuss with you at some point, as clarifying this issue would be of value in itself for the ICT4E community at large). 2. The point I want to make here is that "process evaluation" and "implementation evaluation" are equally or even more important than "impact evaluation" in this case. There should be more emphasis on process/implementation evaluation because this kind of evaluation has the potential to provide the most important practical lessons for policy and program planning. Impact evaluation and implementation/process evaluation complement each other. We certainly cannot move forward with research designs for impact evaluation until we understand if and how the immensely complex ICT4E projects we talk about are carried out as planned. Besides "impact", let's also turn our attention to systematic assessments of process and implementation to generate a holistic view of what is really happening in the field -- and to get us ready to better measure impact. Thanks and best regards, Raul